Stay Tuned
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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Best of 2006

So I’ve been racking my brain for weeks, trying to figure out how I wanted to do this. I wanted to do a top 10 list like everyone else, but I couldn’t come up with ten shows. So, I figured I’d hand out awards, but I just did that six months ago.

So, I finally decided on a combination of both. We’ll start with my picks for the top 10 shows of 2006—or rather the top eight shows…

8) “Justice”
I still believe that if this show had been on CBS, it would’ve been a hit (but I probably wouldn’t have watched). I’m sure that someone will try the “how it really happened” ending again, but without Victor Garber, it won’t be the same.

7) “The O.C.”
Last season was a mess as they repeated the show’s worst storyline (Johnny as the new Oliver) and turned Marissa into a total skank. But the moment Marissa died, the show came back to life. If only they had turned it around sooner, it would be higher.

6) “NCIS”
Again, I must ask, why don’t I watch this show? It’s the funniest show on television, the cases are interesting and Michael Weatherly is seriously hot. What more could you ask for?

5) “Football Night In America”
I know this isn’t technically a series, but it became one of my favorite shows this year. NBC’s decision to recap the day’s games as opposed to overhyping their game was a great one. And you can’t beat the combination of Costas and Collinsworth.

4) “American Idol”
Every year I promise myself I’m not going to let this show consume me—and it always does. There is no experience on TV like it.

3) “Project Runway”
I don’t know anything about fashion, but I do know good TV when I see it; and this is good TV. I would’ve ranked it higher, but I’m still a little miffed about Jeffrey winning (even though his collection was the best).

2) “Heroes”
It absolutely pains me to rank a show opposite “24” this high, but I must give credit where credit is due. The characters are fascinating, the stories are engaging and the acting is first-rate. Plus, the show just looks gorgeous. But what sets “Heroes” apart is that it moves. Who would’ve expected them to save the cheerleader so soon? Granted, we still have no idea what that meant…

1) “24”
It’s a little unusual for a show to hit its stride in its fifth season, but that’s what happened. For the first time we were actually engrossed in another story besides Jack’s. That’s a huge credit to the writers, but even bigger kudos belong to the dynamic duo of Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart. And the writers deserve major props for constructing a season where every plot twist made sense. I know that seems so simple, but for “24,” that’s quite an accomplishment. And Kiefer? Well, I think the Emmy speaks for itself.

Probably the most obvious omission from my list (since I usually recognize it) is “Boston Legal,” but if you’ve watched it lately, you understand why I couldn’t include it. And I couldn’t include “Prison Break” this year since it’s been so inconsistent and because T-Bag totally creeps me out…

Now let me recognize a few others…

Best Series Finale: “Arrested Development”
Though the show had not been officially cancelled, creator Mitchell Hurowitz saw the writing on the wall and gave us a wonderfully crafted episode that beautifully echoed the show’s premiere. Showtime discussed picking the show up, but the truth is, there was nowhere to go after this.

Best Comeback By an Actor: John Stamos, “ER”
After the failures of “Thieves” and “Jake In Progress,” it looked like Stamos would be forever known as Uncle Jesse. But as Dr. Gates on “ER,” Stamos has not only re-energized his career, but the show as well—which was no easy task.

Best Comeback By a Show: “The O.C.” and “Desperate Housewives”
This award definitely goes to “The O.C.” (It had two bad seasons to work its way up from, after all.), but since I’ve already mentioned it, let me take this opportunity to applaud the comeback of “Desperate Housewives.” I was concerned about Bree getting involved with another psycho, but Kyle MacLachlan’s Orson is way more complicated than that as the heart of the show’s new mystery. The show still has issues, but it is a definite improvement over last season.

And there you have it. My thoughts on the best of 2006. So what were your favorite shows of the year? Your least favorite? Just post a comment below…